[ sheer ]
/ ʃɪər /

verb (used without object)

to deviate from a course, as a ship; swerve.

verb (used with object)

to cause to sheer.
Shipbuilding. to give sheer to (a hull).


a deviation or divergence, as of a ship from its course; swerve.
Shipbuilding. the fore-and-aft upward curve of the hull of a vessel at the main deck or bulwarks.
Nautical. the position in which a ship at anchor is placed to keep it clear of the anchor.

Origin of sheer

1620–30; special use of sheer1; compare sense development of clear Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sheering

British Dictionary definitions for sheering (1 of 2)

/ (ʃɪə) /



steeply or perpendicularly
completely or absolutely


any transparent fabric used for making garments

Derived forms of sheer

sheerly, adverbsheerness, noun

Word Origin for sheer

Old English scīr; related to Old Norse skīrr bright, Gothic skeirs clear, Middle High German schīr

British Dictionary definitions for sheering (2 of 2)

/ (ʃɪə) /

verb (foll by off or away ( from ))

to deviate or cause to deviate from a course
(intr) to avoid an unpleasant person, thing, topic, etc


the upward sweep of the deck or bulwarks of a vessel
nautical the position of a vessel relative to its mooring

Word Origin for sheer

C17: perhaps variant of shear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012